OUR IDEA OF GOD AFFECTS THE WAY WE THINK AND ACT
Many of the ancient pagan religions personified the forces of nature and some human activities. So there was Venus the goddess of love, Mars the god of war, Neptune god of the sea. Baal from the middle east region was a god of storms. These forces were deified because of the uncontrollable power that confronted people and tossed them this way and that with no apparent rhyme or reason.
With the faith of the Jews and then with faith in Christ something new appeared in human history. The experience of the prophet Elijah on the mountain where God gave Moses the ten words that we still treasure today as the ten commandments is a case in point that the powers of nature are just that and not something divine. Elijah’s cave is struck by cyclonic winds, rocked by earth quake and scorched by fire but God is not in any of these. These are followed by the sound of a gentle breeze or sheer silence and with this the prophet appears from his cave and covers his face indicating he is aware of the Lord’s presence. This is a presence that will not willy nilly kill or harm people as a cyclone, earth quake or bush fire could. This gentle breeze, this silence, respects human life and dignity and calls people to treat others in like manner.
This belief in God who loves the creation and especially humankind is reinforced and manifested in the action of Jesus as he comes to the disciples in a storm tossed sea as if walking through a field without being harmed or even fearing being harmed. Peter while keeping his eye on Jesus does likewise and walks safely until his doubts take his eye away from Jesus and he starts to be overwhelmed.
This is the story of the church and of us as individuals. There are forces that can do us harm, but with God’s grace in Christ we can function in new ways that will never appear if we allow our doubts and fears to call the tune on what we can and cannot do.
Fr Adrian Farrelly
|Oct 20, 2014||19th Sunday in Ordinary Time 10.08.2014||Listen||Download|